Andrea Solario - inv. 1628
This painting, signed and dated 1515, is one of the better known and appreciated works of Andrea Solario was one of the most original Lombard followers of Leonardo da Vinci.
His style extremely refined combines Leonardesque elements with influences from other artistic cultures, including the Lombard and Venetian traditions, as well as from ancient and contemporary sculpture.
The Rest during the flight to Egypt is considered to be a fully mature work by Solario, since it remarkably brings together all these influences in a highly harmonious group.
Indeed, the figures of the Virgin, the Child and Joseph, portrayed in the dramatic moment of their journey towards Egypt, are connected one with the other by their intersecting looks, in the manner of Leonardo.
Such intimate attitude effectively contributes to the profoundly human theme of the travellers' rest. The pictorial level of emotional rendering is high, as the intense sentiment expressed by Joseph's face testifies.
Echoes of Venetian culture are visible in the background landscape, while the presence of naturalist details is indicative of Lombard and Flemish influences. For instance, the donkey on the left is depicted in a very realistic posture; equally realistic and extraordinarily detailed are the walking-stick, the bag and the jug that compose the still life in the right hand corner.
Finally, the three figures depicted are very sculptural in their postures, especially the Child, the model for which derives in fact from an ancient sculpture.
This work, acquired in 1855, was one of the first painting Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, founder of the museum, chose for his collection.